Thompson Point Battles Taking Shape Heading into Busch North Throwback
THOMPSON, CT - With four races remaining at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, point battles across each of the four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Divisions are starting to take shape. Tensions will surely start to rise and strategies will start to be formed, heading into the next event, the Inaugural Busch North Throwback 100, on Saturday, July 8.
The Sunoco Modified Division point battle is currently closest. 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion, Keith Rocco, trails former NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver, Ryan Preece, by only two points. With only four races remaining, and over 20 entrants expected at each of those events, the margin for error is small. Rocco knows this, but has more than ample faith in his team. It’s halfway through the season and his confidence refuses to falter. “Don’t worry about the points,” he said calmly, “You got to race to win, and the rest comes with it.“
Scott Sundeen finds himself in a familiar position in the Limited Sportsman Division - atop the leaderboard. The four-time Champion has never been worried about the points, only the results. “Right now, I’m not worried about the points” he said, “Anything can happen and I’m there to win”. With no previous intentions of racing for a full season, driver of the No.55, Shawn Monahan, now finds himself in second place, only four l[‘=;p\markers behind Sundeen. Monahan has a lot of trophies on his mantle, but none for a Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Championship. "I've given away a lot of championships in my past” he explained, “but that was due to immaturity.” The Waterford, CT-native is focused on earning his first title, a story which he hopes to be able to tell his son one day. “The best thing thing is to talk to your children about it later” he said, envisioning an older version of himself in the grandstands with his family.
Ray Parent is the only NASCAR Whelen All-American Series driver to have more than one win this season. His two victories have shot him to the top of the Late Model Standings. He carries a healthy 18-point advantage into the Inaugural Busch North Throwback 100 on Saturday, July 8. His challenger, though, is a formidable one, six-time Champion, Rick Gentes. The pressure isn’t getting to Parent, though. His team’s focus is simple: “Race and just have fun. By doing that I will be racing to win and drive harder. We have been racing great since the Icebreaker and continue to improve, which is awesome.” Leading the standings is not something Parent and his team thought would be likely at this stage of the season, but they aren’t surprised by it, either. “We always hope to run for a championship, but the track is a pretty hard one to run, and I did not race there full time last year, but I have experience and race the way I race.”
Last year’s Mini Stock Champion, Wayne Burroughs, is in the driver’s seat when it comes to defending his title. The reigning titlist isn’t taking that for granted, though, as he remembers how difficult last year’s competition was. A repeat “will be extremely difficult,” the Oakdale, CT driver believes. He’s not letting his previous victory this season dull his competitive edge. At the next event on July 8, he will be featuring a new motor, in hopes of further distancing himself from his competition on his way to his second consecutive Mini Stock Division Championship.
The championship battles will continue at the fourth of seven NASCAR Whelen American Series’ events, scheduled for Saturday, July 8. Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock drivers will all be in competition on a special Saturday night showdown. The Inaugural Busch North Throwback 100, features NASCAR’s top developmental Series - the K&N Pro Series East - in a special tribute race, honoring the rich northeastern history of the division.. For more information about the event, please visit thompsonspeedway.com.